The photo below shows what may be a CRT for the TX-0 (transistorized experimental computer) in 1956, referring to what may be a CRT on the left side, not to the CRT on the right side .

If that is a CRT on the left side, what is it displaying ?

The image is sourced from the following webpage, just click 2 times on the tiny image of the TX-0 on the timeline on that webpage to expand it to it's maximum size - history-of-computers-timeline

The image below the TX-0 image, shows that a crt screen with square looking corners ? ( not sure though ) did exist in a similar time-frame, it shows the DAC-1 possibly in 1959 .

enter image description here

DAC-1 possibly 1959

  • 3
    Regardless of what that web site says, it's the "transistorized computer", not "transitioned..." – another-dave Jun 2 '20 at 1:26
  • @another-dave That website is strange anyway. Everything is a first, even two 'first digital computers' at once ... and none of them the first in timeline ... and an IBM 701 as first BC and a PDP as first mini ... heck, there is almost no entry that can betaken serious. LOL. – Raffzahn Jun 2 '20 at 1:27
  • That website - timetoast.com - is just a platform for creating timelines. Like many timelines on there, this looks like a high school assignment / project. – Michael Graf Jun 2 '20 at 6:02
  • I'm sorry, the DAC-1's CRT is not square but rather round - which is simply covered by the large frame. Much the same way as visible on the TX-0 picture (right side) here even the round shape below the covering frame van be seen. – Raffzahn Jun 2 '20 at 21:08

If that is a crt on the left side, what is it displaying ?

Clearly a video image. Maybe some modern screen showing a documentation/educational video.

TX-0 used an oscilloscope with 512x512 addressable positions, strictly B&W (no grayscales). The TX-0 had only one such screen (to the right), not capable of generating such a picture. See also this (somewhat) contemporary documentation (p.13) or this collection of stories.

Also, TX-0/TX-2 (there was no TX-1 - and TX-2 is an extended TX-0) was rebuilt many times in various configurations, so there is no definite picture either.

See here for an early picture, still without the CRT, only a Flexowriter as a terminal:

enter image description here

While this is a later one, with a different setup, including the CRT:

enter image description here

  • 2
    I think it may not even be a crt, since it sticks out from the console a lot, more like an LCD screen ( which it is not unless it was inserted in modern times for some reason ), crt's in those days always seemed to need side housing, and tv-crt's in those days always usually seemed to have curved corners to a degree ( even though the crt on the right side also has squarish corners ), maybe some type of slide or movie projector, just read your comment on contemporary setups, a possible explanation – mnml Jun 2 '20 at 1:22

No it's not. It's clearly a modern LCD display.

It's too flat and too square to be a 1956 era CRT display. It also appears to be mounted on the console rather than in it. For comparison, the CRT on the right might be 50's era. Note how it is much smaller and the "bevels" are much bigger. This is because CRTs can't be square with sharp corners as they are a bit like giant glass lightbulbs (note also that the surface is slightly convex).

  • Your answer supports the comment I posted to Raffzahn's answer, however, I have now added an image to my question which affects both my initial opinion and your answer. The image below the TX-0 image, shows that a crt screen with square looking corners ? ( not sure though ) did exist in a similar time-frame, it shows the DAC-1 possibly in 1959 . – mnml Jun 2 '20 at 20:58

Searching for keywords like "tx-2" "35 mm" "computer" gets results like the following -


Like other computers in those days this machine was also connected to peripherals that used film like 35 mm, so maybe it was part of that .

Even though the most logical explanation is a modern flat screen inserted for a museum display .


This video from 1984 shows the TX-0; the leftmost panel is blank and the one on the rightmost is a vector display. The video shows the machine in operation (including the display). The left display in the question's photo appears to be a modern addition.

TX-0 in 1984 Source: Computer Chronicles 1984-02-12 via the Internet Archive

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.